Sunday, September 9, 2012

Navy Week at GM Renaissance Center in Detroit

We spent an eventful day, yesterday at General Motors' headquarters in downtown Detroit.  The city's bicentennial commemoration of the War of 1812 was being held September 5th through the 9th.  The festivities were planned in cooperation with the U.S Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.

Here are some of the highlights of our day:

Ongoing demonstrations in the GM RenCen Wintergarden of military technology.

Demos of US Military technology
Remote controlled military robot
Two flight simulators that were very popular with adults and kids alike.  These displays were specially geared to students' interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) subjects.

Flight Simulators
A view of the buzzing activity in the GM RenCen Wintergarden from the first floor.

View of Wintergarden from above
The GM Showroom featured a collection of GM cars including vintage and modern Corvettes in honor of the car's 60th birthday.


Other cars
Outside it was a balmy 73 degrees Fahrenheit.  The US Brig Niagara was docked on the Detroit River.  "The tall ship is an exact replica of the original 1813 wooden-hulled, two-masted ship that served in the Battle of Lake Erie" (a.k.a. the Battle of Put-in-Bay) which was fought on September 10, 1813 during the war of 1812.

Across the river off the Canadian shores, the Canadian ship HMCS Ville de Quebec was docked.

HMCS Ville de Quebec on Windsor side of Detroit River
 The crowds were interesting to watch, a white cockatoo among them.

In the Plaza Stage area, the U.S. Coast Guard Drill Team demonstrated their precision rifle exercise.

On the Detroit River, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) demonstrated Search and Rescue (SAR) operations.  These operations simulate the series of events following a distress call from a USCG vessel regarding a member of the crew who needs air-lifting to the nearest hospital.

The USCG vessel pulls up on the river in front of the RenCen
USCG HH-65 Dolphin Helicpter arrives from Selfridge ANG

Dolphin Helicopter makes a pass around the RenCen

Pulls up over the USCG vessel

Prepares to hover 

Drops a metal cable that attaches to the USCG vessel

Member of USCG team leaves helicopter

Ziplines onto the vessel

Boards the vessel

A freight ship pulls up (not a part of the demo)

Excitement builds

Metal cage is lowered via the cable

Imaginary and invisible distressed crew member
is air-lifted and SAR demo concludes

Of interest on YouTube, Coast Guard Top 10 Rescue Videos .

Military festivities continued in the parking lot adjacent to the Plaza with a raffle of a souped up Chevy Camaro, a couple of SUVs and military equipped Humvees.

Camaro on raffle
SUV First Responder vehicle

Decorated with decals everywhere


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